Ban Gioc Waterfall, one of the most popular waterfalls in Vietnam, is located in the Non Nuoc Cao Bang Geopark in the northern province of Cao Bang. (Photo: VNA)

Cao Bang (VNA) – Cao Bang has taken creative and effective ways to promote external relations and international cooperation for its stronger socio-economic development, said Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son in a meeting with leaders of the northern border province on May 18.

Son was on a visit to Cao Bang to discuss with the provincial leaders about the province’s external affairs in 2017 and the development of Non Nuoc Cao Bang Geopark which was recognised as a global geopark by UNESCO earlier this year.

Cao Bang strengthened comprehensive partnership with Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China in 2017. The province also established and expanded relations with several other Chinese localities in economy, trade, investment and tourism last year. It have signed eight agreements with foreign localities, organised high-level delegation exchanges with Guangxi and sent officials on study trips to China and Southeast Asian nations.

The province plans to continue raising people’s awareness of the Non Nuoc Cao Bang Geopark, developing materials and taking part in a number of events for the promotion of the geopark.

Son urged the province to further expand cooperative relations with Chinese localities and set up partnerships with other nations like France, the Republic of Korea and Japan. He also asked the province to well prepare for a ceremony to receive the certificate recognizing the Non Nuoc Cao Bang as an UNESCO Geopark and a local investment promotion conference in late 2018.

Cao Bang should learn more experiences from other countries in fostering foreign affairs, attracting FDI, ODA and managing border areas and developing human resources working in external affairs, he said.

The Deputy Minister suggested the province to fully unlock the potential of the Non Nuoc Cao Bang Global Geopark and take it as an opportunity to develop tourism.

Non Nuoc Cao Bang Geopark was recognised as a global geopark by the UNESCO Global Geoparks Council in Paris on April 12 this year.

This is the second UNESCO-recognised Global Geopark in Vietnam after Dong Van Karst Plateau, received recognition eight years ago.

Founded in 2015, Non Nuoc Cao Bang is about 300km from Hanoi capital city. It covers more than 3,000 sq.km in the districts of Ha Quang, Tra Linh, Quang Uyen, Trung Khanh, Ha Lang and Phuc Hoa and part of Hoa An, Nguyen Binh and Thach An districts.

The geopark is home to fossils, ocean sediment, volcanic rocks, minerals, and especially karst landscapes, which can give researchers an insight into more than 500 million years of history of the earth. It is also well known for rich biodiversity and many indigenous fauna and flora species.

Aside from natural values, it contains a number of tangible and intangible cultural heritage assets, particularly revolutionary relic sites such as special national relic site of Pac Bo, where Nguyen Ai Quoc or President Ho Chi Minh, returned in 1941 to lead the domestic revolution after spending over 30 years overseas looking for ways to save the country.

It is also home to special national relic site of Tran Hung Dao Forest, where late General Vo Nguyen Giap in 1944 established the Vietnam Propaganda and Liberation Army, the predecessor of the Vietnam People’s Army today.-VNA